Some of my earliest memories are of moving and dancing. Living in Haiti, I remember loving the beats of the drummers and local music floating through the streets and at parties. When we lived in Hong Kong, I would crank up Madonna and then put on a show for my parents and their friends. I spent most of my childhood living abroad and then moved back to the States and attended NYU. While there, I discovered yoga. Loved it right away. Hard-core vinyasa. Like a dance. Being so limber I loved the feeling of flowing fluidly and juicily in and out of shapes while being encouraged to move my spine in all directions. Bliss. I did a yoga teacher training, got my BA and then left New York for 6 months of world travel. Asia- my safe place.
In Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam- I taught small classes at the hostels. I met healers in Cambodia and we chanted in the Angkor Wat temples at sunset- sounds kitchy now but it was really awesome! I was just sliding into joy. At the end of the trip I decided on a whim to leave to Israel. I have many roots there and it felt right. I tried to put on the serious hat and actually become a journalist (another life dream of mine) but all those doors kept closing and the yoga doors kept opening. I went with it. Fast forwards a few years later, I founded my own yoga center. Chandra Yoga in Tel Aviv. Still there – amazing peeps running it now. But here is the meat that I was getting to – in the midst of all of this travel, fun, dream-pursuing-stuff – my back began to hurt. Then it hurt more. Then it hurt a whole lot and I found myself stuck in bed. An MRI later- 2 herniated discs and another on the way. Sweet! What a great teacher. That one teacher in the form of disc herniation got me off my feet literally and on my arse in bed for 3 months. Writhing in pain, told I would nver this and never that if I did not have surgery. Thank goddess to my amazing mom for insisting that no matter how bad the pain (and it was killer) not. to. have. surgery. Period. No surgery. Loads of pain. What to do when you are laid up in bed for many moons? Find out about pain, of course.
I decided to become as completely knowledgeable about back pain, anatomy and movement choices as possible. I realized that my own once seeming awesome limberness was actually a major health hazard and that if I planned to live my life pain-free, (YES PLEASE!) then things needed to shift in my understanding and awareness and movement patterns, habit and defaults. That was in 2002. Since then I have committed myself to studying with the best teachers (the best of them being my own body and mind) and learning as much as possible about Anatomy, biomechanics, movement patterns, emotional patterns, and healing. All throughout this time, I have been practicing, teaching, playing and exploring. It never ever ends. It is so wonderful that there is always more to discover and explore and also that once you do begin to learn and be more in charge of your body and mind- THINGS CHANGE! Yes they do. My back pain got better, and then more better and then about a year later I was pain-free. A year, by the way, is nothing in the scheme of awareness shifting and pain and healing. I was told that pregnancy would be hard on my back: nope. Childbirth would be hard on my back: nope. Caring for the kinder would be hard on my back. No. no. no. It is up to me whether I buy into other peoples’ dark prognoses’ on MY body or whether I stay on the path of healing, trust and love. I am in charge of my body and I make the choice to move towards healing and not into complacency and surrender to a dark and pain filled future. No thank you.
Do I have some aches and pains? Sure- but they do not own me. They teach me and guide me and help me to refocus and listen deeper to what is really going on. It is from this place of empowerment and understanding that I try to guide others on their path. I love what I do. It is from love that I offer teachings and information to people to either help with their pain or prevent pain or just get more and more and more in touch with themselves- shedding light on their movement patterns and default habits so that they too can make choices that are healing and helpful. I am super grateful that you are visiting my site and reading this. Please shoot me an email and share your story of healing or feel free to ask questions!
In love and in service, Lauren